The doctor is in, but his golf diagnosis is no better than a shot in the dark

“I had that bad dream again, Doc.”

“The one about the first-tee jitters? I remember the last time that happened – you needed a lot of therapy.”

“Yeah, I’m still paying for it.”

“But your account is up to date.”

“I meant your diagnosis.”

“Clearly, it goes back to your childhood. Tell me about the first time you played golf and had to hit the ball in front of a group of people on the first tee.”

“It actually went well even though I was only 8. It was a par-3, and I hit it up by the green.”

“Then you must have had issues with trying to please your father.”

“My dad couldn’t play a lick. He would have been impressed if I hit it 15 feet.”

“I know what it is. It’s schizophrenia.”

“That’s my driver’s problem. It doesn’t know whether to go left or right.”

“That sounds kind of bipolar.”

“That’s what it looks like when you stripe it on the range, are in a great mood and then hit it sideways out on the course.”

“Do you let your anger show? That’s not healthy, you know – it sounds as if you’re repressing how you really feel about golf when it doesn’t treat you well.”

“Not at all. I love golf even when I make a double bogey. That’s when I say, ‘It’s still a wonderful game.’ I always call it ‘our great game.’”

“That sounds a little passive-aggressive to me.”

“Nah. That only happens when I have a good hole, step on the next tee, turn to the rest of the group and bellow, ‘Anyone else here make birdie?’”

“How mature. We seem to talk about golf every time you’re here. I think you’re obsessive-compulsive.”

“Only when I get in the trees, see a tiny opening and think I’m Phil Mickelson.”

“So let’s talk about your dream. What happened?”

“The usual stuff. I felt ready to get off to a great start. All I could think about is how good it was going to feel to knock one down the middle. And then I hit a terrible shot.”

“I don’t think you were dreaming. That’s what you actually do every time.”

“But the dream was even worse. It kept waking me up, and then I’d fall back asleep and dream the same thing all over again.”

“Have you had eating problems lately?”

“Well, the chili in the 19th hole didn’t sit too well with me the last time I was there.”

“Any relationship issues?”

“I love pars, but they don’t seem to feel the same way about me.”

“I think I’ve got this figured out. It clearly is a case of depression. My advice is to stop playing golf until you feel better.”

“Sorry, Doc, but it’s an addiction I can’t give up. Even when my score depresses me, I still feel strangely good.”

“Well, I tried. Leave your check on my desk on your way out.”

“I want to talk about putting next week.”

“That will cost you double.”




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